Tonight I had my first group/training ride with Team Bikin’. It was they’re Monday night training ride on a .8 mile circuit only about 5 miles from where I’m staying. I’ve been looking forward to this all weekend.

When I showed up there were a few Team Bikin’ people in the area I was told they parked in. There were also several other groups riding the circuit. It must be popular I thought. During my warm up laps Nearly Famous Fred told me that on Tuesday evenings they have crit races here. I checked on that when I came home and sure enough they do. The site is Dallas Crit.

After a few warm up laps the Team Leader, Mike, had us do four solo laps concentrating on maintaining a line and a smooth pedal stroke. He gave us a talk about controlling out balance to help maintain the line. After about three laps I had a close brush with an airplane.

The circuit we ride on goes around a large grass field. Some folks were using the field to fly their remote controlled airplanes. I hadn’t really payed them much mind except when I was near the guys flying them I would catch a glimpse of one or hear it buzzing overhead. On my third solo lap that all changed. I’m riding along, concentrating on maintaining a line and smooth pedal stroke, when one of the planes come crashing straight down into the road not ten feet from me. It smacked the ground pretty hard and I’m pretty sure it would have left a mark if it hit me. The next lap around the guy flying it apologized profusely. No harm no foul but I’ll have to watch out for those a little closer next time.

Warmup with Paceline
Image by Velo Steve via Flickr

After our solo laps Mike paired a slower rider with a faster rider so we could work on paceline skills. The faster rider would lead two laps maintaining as good a line as possible. The slower rider would try and maintain position as well as possible while providing guidance to the lead rider about his/her pedal stroke and line. I honestly can’t remember the name of the guy I rode with. I’m terrible with names. Sorry. I think he and I worked together real well. He rode a great line with a smooth pedal stroke. When it was my turn he gave me some good pointers on my stroke such as keeping my heels down. After four laps of that we were put in groups of four to practice riding 2×2.

I really enjoyed tonight’s training session and got 22 miles in over the two hours we rode. I’ve never had training or direction like that for my cycling and am really glad I’ve found a group that does this kind of stuff. All told there were nine of us out riding including two women. I really enjoyed the company and road several laps at the end with one of the women of the team and was able to find out a lot more about the rides they do. Turns out the Century I have targeted in September, the Waco Wild West Century, is one of the groups rides. Cool. I’ll try and take some pictures next Monday night.